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Tohono O’odham Unveils Casino Renderings

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The Tohono O'odham Tribal Council revealed renderings of its planned casino and resort in Glendale, Ariz., at a press conference Tuesday at the Hampton Inn & Suites, reported The Glendale Star.

Glendale Council members Phil Lieberman and Norma Alvarez attended in support of the project, which is opposed by some city and state lawmakers, who are suing the U.S. Interior Department to halt the tribe's plans. The potential trust land sits on county grounds just north of the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Norris has attempted to assuage fears of infrastructure costs being funded by Glendale taxpayers.

"It is total misinformation it is going to be costly to the city," Norris said, according to The Glendale Star. "Where we do not provide services, we enter into an intergovernmental agreement. Regardless whether the Tohono O'odham Nation pays for services itself, there is an IGA and there would be costs to us."

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At the conference, Tribal Council Chairman Ned Norris Jr. revealed considerably smaller development plans--no three-acre atrium as previously included. The casino entry is lit by an LED electronic image board that Norris calls “the Disney effect,” according to The Glendale Star.

The west-side casino awaits Interior approval of land into trust. Its first court date to address legal challenges will take place on Feb. 17. "The Feb. 17 hearing will give us a good indication of what the time line will be," Norris told The Glendale Star.

Referencing economic impact, Norris cited an estimated 6,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs would be created in the Glendale area. The tribal nation projects an economic impact of $300 million annually with more than $100 million in taxes the first year, he said.